Monday, March 08, 2010

Soon We Will Think Orchestrally, and It Will Happen

I went to a show last week. The artists on the bill were all electronic musicians. The crowd was thick, the glasses were thicker and it was impossible to see any part of what these musicians were doing. One artist in particular was called Daedelus. The man was part magician, part robot, part living ,breathing interface. But I could only patch together glimpses of him. I would see an elbow sweep, fingers depressing lighted squares and eyes darting back and forth between devices....devices that I'd never seen before.  Well, there were laptops  housing the sounds, loops, glitches and samples..but the devices were in control...... As I took a closer look after the crowd went outside to simultaneously smoke and tweet...this is what I saw.....

tehn with two fifty six from tehn on Vimeo.

It's called a Monome Box.  It has 256 buttons...basically a midi controller with an "adaptable minimalist interface"... whose applications include "tonal Maps, math simulations, drum machines, live sample cutters." It's been around for 5 years. It's old already.

It can also open a garage door anywhere on earth, program your dvr, erase bad memories of one night stands gone horribly wrong and  store logorithms that would allow any lonely engineer to hack into a live nude chat room.

It made me think of this:

I was entertained .I really was. The work involved in creating the bitmaps of soundscapes and the filmstrip of musical moods impressed me. There are worlds that we will never touch out there. Worlds that will connect around us and free us from within or swallow us whole.

256 buttons and everything's on.
Every sound your Les Paul has ever made is in there..and out there somewhere.
A 2 second borrowed riff, too short for recognition is a stitch in time between massive beats, polyrhythms and unheard of hybrids that make up melodies. It finishes a bridge that goes by in a digital blur.

The Wall-E world is coming.
I'm going to order up a virtual concert soon, from a bit torrent pirate satellite that bypasses any Live Nation Police Radar.... Maybe Zep at Earls Court '75.. Right in my living room.


  1. Wonder if you'll see one of those at SXSW. I am going next year no matter what.

    This thing is intriguing, mysterious and a bit scary.

  2. Woah, what a freaky little box! I'm gonna try and find one just to piss Mine off with it.